Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hitch's brats

So I watched The Birds on TCM last night. It's a fun enough movie, although to be honest I'd probably rate a dozen or more of Alfred Hitchcock's other movies ahead of this one. Perhaps, though, that's more a testament to just how good a director Hitchcock was. However, I'm not going to talk about the direction or the general plot of The Birds, as that's been done a thousand times before by other people who are better writers than I, but one of the characters who struck me.

The Birds is one of three movies that Hitchcock set, and filmed, in northern California; the other two being Shadow of a Doubt and Vertigo. While all three have this in common, Shadow of a Doubt and The Birds also have something else interesting in common: a bratty kid sister. Tippi Hedren consoling Veronica CartwrightIn Shadow of a Doubt, Edna May Wonacott plays the humorously obnoxious kid sister to the lovely Teresa Wright. In The Birds, that role is filled by Veronica Cartwright, who plays the impossibly young sister of Rod Taylor -- and their common mother, Jessica Tandy, is entirely too old to be her mother. Yet another of the joys of Hollywood casting. Cartwright does a fine job, making the audience laugh when she refers to the clients of her defense attorney brother as "hoods", but also doing an excellent job of playing frightened when the adults find her with a dead Suzanne Pleshette.

In doing the brief research for this blog post, I was interested to see that Cartwright is not only alive and well, and still acting, but also has her own official website. Her younger sister Angela also acted, most notably playing Penny Robinson on the TV series Lost in Space.

No comments: